Avid Media Composer's latest version comes with a wealth of new and improved features, such as accelerated high-res-to-HD workflows and automated media management to handle background media tasks while you focus on your creative vision. The $999 price tag is steep for amateurs, but worth it if you're looking for a professional-grade software. As the editing software of choice for summer blockbusters like Star Trek and The Great Gatsby, Avid Media Composer 7 can handle any editing challenge with ease.
A unique mix of video editing, visual effects and 3D compositing for filmmakers and professional motion artists. Everything you need in one product. Free edition HitFilm 3 Express also available. From short films to documentaries, commercials to vlogging - HitFilm has features for beginners and experts alike, combining depth and sophistication with an intuitive simplicity. Chief among the advancements are a powerful video editor, greater realism when rendering 3D scenes, advanced animation controls and a refined interface. Also included is HitFilm Ignite (over 140 plugins for all major video platforms), mocha HitFilm and BorisFX 3D Objects to create incredible title sequences.
Sony Movie Studio 13 was made with the digital filmmaker in mind – once you’ve edited your video to your satisfaction, you can directly upload it to Facebook or other social media for fast sharing. Create video in beautiful 4K (ultra HD) XAVCS, or AVCHD to give your vlogs a high-production, professional feel. Movie Studio 13 Platinum is touch-enabled, too, so you can create and edit movies even faster using your PC’s touchscreen. With large, easy-to-use buttons, fewer menus and the popular Simple Edit Mode, Sony Movie Studio 13 makes video editing fast and easy, so you can keep up with the Internet’s viral pace. The software also comes with ACID Music Studio 10 and Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 to take your online media up a notch.
The app sounds handy for people who are already doing these things. But the bigger story might just be that Facebook is trying to show it cares about the community of independent vloggers. The same people who this app is designed to appeal to are currently struggling with odd changes and errors over at YouTube. Facebook has wanted to poach them for years now. One app isn’t going to suddenly change things, but a continued commitment could help win people over.
Another impressive effect that has made its way into consumer-level video editing software is motion tracking, which lets you attach an object or effect to something moving in your video. You might use it to put a blur over the face of someone you don't want to show up in your video. You specify the target face, and the app takes care of the rest, tracking the face and moving the effect to follow it. This used to be the sole province of special effects software such as Adobe After Effects. Corel VideoStudio was the first of the consumer products to include motion tracking, and it still leads the pack in the depth and usability of its motion-tracking tool, though several others now include the capability.
However, it doesn’t have all the features and tools we look for in DVD makers, though it has enough to fit the needs of a novice. Before you can burn a DVD, you need to transform your raw footage into a compelling narrative. As such, this program’s video editing tools are its main selling points. It has a standard timeline/storyboard workflow – you compose the broad strokes of your video in the storyboard and fine-tune it in the timeline. One of the software’s biggest drawbacks is you only have eight editing tracks to build your project, and only one is dedicated to video. This limits the program’s versatility and hinders its ability to create complex projects. As a beginner, you might only need eight tracks; however, as you gain experience, it may become a frustration. In addition, the included DVD burner can’t add menus or chapter breaks.
Free video editing software often comes with legal and technical limitations, however. Some widely used codecs require licensing fees on the part of the software maker, meaning they can't offer free software that can handle these standard file formats. That said, the impressive open-source Shotcut does a lot of the same things that the paid applications in this roundup do, including things like chroma-keying and picture-in-picture. Shotcut is completely open-source and free, while another free option, Lightworks has paid options that remove a 720p output resolution limit. Note also that both Shotcut and Lightworks run on Linux as well as Windows and Mac.
One of the capabilities that has been making its way into consumer-level video editing software is support for LUTs (lookup tables), also known as CLUTs (color lookup tables). This staple of pro-level software lets you quickly change the look of a video to give it a specific mood. For example, think of the dark blue look of thriller movies like The Revenant. You can download LUTs for free from several sites or use those included with some video software to give your video a specific look. One well-known LUT type is the kind that can make a daytime scene look like it was shot at night.
There are tons of in-program effects such as transitions, titles, credits, captions and even included audio scores, meaning you won’t get held up at any step of your editing process. There are panning and shift capabilities, high-quality post-processing zoom, as well as a plethora of color filtering plugins to give you the look you’ll need, even if the raw footage isn’t quite there. You’ll have the ability to export your movies in up to 4K resolution, and the software even supports 360-degree video projects. It’s a great powerhouse for beginners.